Computers will soon be able to tell if you're left wing from a photo

Rob Waugh
(Stanford University/Michal Kosinski/YilunWang)

Could artificial intelligence soon tell if someone is left-wing or right-wing – just by analysing a photo of their face?

That chilling prospect – with a huge possibility of misuse by employers – could come true sooner than we expect, according to one expert.

Dr Michal Kosinski has claimed that AI software will be able to work out people’s political leanings – and their IQ – from photos.

Kosinski’s technique involved ‘training’ AI to recognise distinctive features using a large number of photographs where researchers knew people’s sexuality.

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He says that the same technique may work on political views – which have been shown to be inheritable in previous research.

Kosinski said, ‘The face is an observable proxy for a wide range of factors, like your life history, your development factors, whether you’re healthy.

‘The technologies sound very dangerous and scary on the surface, but if used properly or ethically, they can really improve our existence.’

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